It may be that the US$ 7.1 million Box.net (news, site) has just raised will continue its campaign to cut as large a piece of the SharePoint pie as it can, or it may just be that the money is exactly what the company says it for -- day to day operations.
However, given the constant sniping about SharePoint over the past months, it seems unlikely that this funding won’t be used for even a little bit more of the same. This time the backers are Draper Fisher Jurvetson -- who backed Box before -- as well as California-based US Venture Partners.
In total, since Box.net was created in 2005 it has managed to raise US$ 14.6 million including US$ 6 million in a funding round last year. And Box has been very busy and will almost certainly need more money if it is to continue the pace of this last year.
Money For Development
Earlier this month, for example, the pay-as-you-go cloud-based file storage company acquired Increo Solutions, adding some capabilities to their online document management software that SharePoint does not have.
While Box said that the two products would remain separate initially, they will be integrated in the future adding more functionality that it can use against SharePoint.
And this has been the trend over the past year. Notable releases include:
- In September Box unveiled an API that allows iPhone developers to integrate with its content management and collaboration platform.
- In August it went into partnership with Fuze Meeting with the purpose of integrating real-time online meeting and collaboration directly from within the Box.net service.
- In May, after introducing full-text search functionality for their Box business customers, they also introduced branding and workflow tools aimed at helping Box users increase and better manage the value of their business content.
The list goes on. But then if you are actively advertising yourself as the cheap(er) alternative to SharePoint, then it stands to reason that you will have to keep evolving, particularly with SharePoint 2010 on the way.
If you want, or need, to evolve you just gotta’ have cash. And now Box has another US$ 7.1 million to ensure they move up the evolutionary chain, not down.